Lifetime Achievement Award winner and five new DINOs announced at AMUG Conference 2024

During the 2024 Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) conference, the recipients of five Distinguished INnovator Operator (DINO) awards and the organization’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award were announced.  

Held in Chicago between March 10-14, the 2024 installment of the AMUG conference once again sought to unite industrial additive manufacturing users to network, exchange insights, and showcase new technology offerings. 

The highly coveted DINO awards went to Jamie Cone, Steve Grundahl, Thomas Murphy, Vadim Pikhovich, and Bob Renella in recognition of their service and contribution to the additive manufacturing industry.

Gary Rabinovitz, AM/3D Printing Lab Manager at Boston-based shoe manufacturer Reebok, received the AMUG Lifetime Achievement Award. This is only the second such award to be presented in the organization’s 36-year history, after Thomas Sorovetz in 2018.    

“Much of what Gary has done is unknown to the AMUG membership. But having worked closely with him for so many years, I witnessed his pivotal role in providing leadership, guidance and counsel as AMUG transitioned over the past 24 years,” commented Paul Bates, Rabinovitz’s former manager at Reebok and a former AMUG President. 

“I have also seen his diligence in doing the work needed to make the changes possible and keep AMUG true to its mission.”

Rabinovitz during his acceptance speech after receiving AMUG's Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo via AMUG.
Rabinovitz during his acceptance speech after receiving AMUG’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo via AMUG.

AMUG awards second ever Lifetime Achievement Award 

A prestigious title within the 3D printing community, the AMUG lifetime achievement award seeks to recognise individuals who exemplify leadership and excellence within Additive Manufacturing.    

Rabinovitz has held roles at AMUG for the past 27 years, having entered the additive manufacturing users community back in 2001. 

After becoming Vice President of the Selective Laser Sintering User Group in 2001, he was promoted to President the following year. The SLS Users Group later merged with the Stereolithography Users Group to form what is now known as AMUG. 

Since 2011, Rabinovitz has performed uninterrupted service as an AMUG officer or director. These roles have included Vice President, President, Past President, Advisor to the Board, Chairman, and Director at Large. Additionally, Rabinovitz has frequently contributed as a conference volunteer, alongside his wife Mary.   

The award was presented by Bates, who introduced Rabinovitz to Reebok and additive manufacturing and has supported his long association with AMUG. After taking to the stage, Rabinovitz stated “This Lifetime Achievement Award means the world to me. I never imagined being a volunteer in the AM industry for over two decades and then being recognized for it. I am very humbled to receive this prestigious award from AMUG.”      

“Gary has been a significant contributor to the additive manufacturing industry for most of his years as a user within Reebok. Gary has consistently contributed his energy, time and experience to varied organizations with the mission to further advance additive technologies,” added incumbent AMUG President Shannon VanDeren. 

“Across decades, the consistency of his involvement is what is so marked to me as I look upon his contributions.”

Rabinovitz now joins Sorovetz as one of the most honored AMUG members of all time, having previously been awarded the President’s Award in 2014 and the DINO Award in 2001.  

Gary Rabinovitz (right) received AMUG's Lifetime Achievement Award from friend and colleague, Paul Bates. Photo via AMUG.
Gary Rabinovitz (right) received AMUG’s Lifetime Achievement Award from friend and colleague, Paul Bates. Photo via AMUG.

Five new DINO’s announced 

The DINO award is one of AMUG’s most renowned prizes, with only 190 awarded throughout the organization’s history. Granted to those with the highest levels of additive manufacturing expertise, all recipients have demonstrated a willingness to share their knowledge with those in the industry. 

DINO winners must have spent a minimum of ten years ‘personally involved’ in the sector, attending at least three AMUG conferences in the process. “This award recognizes not only experience but also character and passion,” explained Rabinovitz, who is DINO Selection Committee Co-Chair and AMUG Director at Large. 

Recent recipients include the likes of Ben Arnold from Massivit 3D, Bob Wood from ExONE, and Materialise’s Evan Kirby.   

This year’s winners feature Jamie Cone, a Senior Engineer at BD, Prototek’s Vice President of Additive Manufacturing Steve Grundahl, Thomas Murphy of the New Jersey Innovation Institute’s COMET Project, MAGMA Foundry Technologies’ Vadim Pikhovich, and Bob Renella, who serves as Regional Engineering Manager for GoEngineer.   

The 2024 DINO Awards were presented to (from left) Vadim Pikhovich, Thomas Murphy, Jamie Cone, Steve Grundahl, and Bob Renella. Photo via AMUG.
The 2024 DINO Awards were presented to (from left) Vadim Pikhovich, Thomas Murphy, Jamie Cone, Steve Grundahl, and Bob Renella. Photo via AMUG.

According to Rabinovitz, the winners were selected from over 1,500 AMUG 2024 attendees following a lengthy nomination and review process. All of this year’s DINO awardees boast notable contributions to additive manufacturing and AMUG.

Cone was selected for her six years of service as a Vice President, Volunteer Committee Chair and Expo Committee member. Pikhovich and Renella were recognized for their track leader and workshop coordinator roles in metal casting and 3D scanning, respectively. Murphy’s years volunteering as a member of the Scholarship Committee and Expo Committee were highlighted as supporting his nomination. Finally, Grundahl received his DINO in recognition of his “unwavering support for AMUG.” 

Giles Gaskell, member of the AMUG’s Track Leader Committee, presented the award to Renella, stating that “He has done everything asked of him, and more, to support the growth of the scanning and metrology track over many years and without asking for thanks or recognition. His DINO is thoroughly deserved.”

DINO Award nominations for AMUG 2025 will open on October 1, 2024. 

DINOs from the past 26 years gathered to celebrate the 2024 AMUG Conference. Photo via AMUG.
DINOs from the past 26 years gathered to celebrate the 2024 AMUG Conference. Photo via AMUG.

More highlights from AMUG 2024

These were not the only individuals to be recognized during AMUG 2024. Before the conference, it was announced that Alex Campbell and Phil Rufe had been selected for the AMUG 3D printing scholarships. Taking to the stage on March 12, 2024, Campbell and Rufe were selected for their efforts to advance additive manufacturing in both education and industry.  

In addition to awards, AMUG 2024 also witnessed the showcase of new additive manufacturing technology. During the conference, metal 3D printer developer Meltio unveiled the M600, its newest laser metal deposition (LMD) 3D printer. Featuring a newly developed Blue Laser deposition head, the 3D printer is designed for industrial-scale manufacturing applications.  

Chicago-based 3D printing quality assurance software developer Phase3D announced the commercialization of its new True Layer Thickness toolkit. The monitoring and inspection tool measures the quantity of metal powder distributed on a 3D printer’s build platform, ensuring an even material distribution during powder bed fusion 3D printing.  

AMUG 2024 also saw Belgian 3D printing company Materialise introduce its e-Stage for Metal+ software. Utilizing physics-based modeling, this new offering is designed to streamline data and build preparation for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) 3D printing.   

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Featured image shows DINOs from the past 26 years gathered to celebrate the 2024 AMUG Conference. Photo via AMUG.